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Brava! Presents OVER THE MOUNTAIN By Thorstenson 4/15-4/25

Brava! for Women in the Arts presents the World Premiere production of Over the Mountain written by local playwright Brian Thorstenson. Over the Mountain has a full Bay Area artists design staff including original music composition and music performed by Meklit Hadero, lighting design by Derek Duarte, set by Jerold Enos with Brava's Raelle Myrick-Hodges directing. Set in a fictitious town, the narrative begins when a female poet is detained by her local government for inappropriate creative propaganda. This piece poses questions about contemporary caste systems, censorship, and the political value of art in society. The production, in collaboration with Santa Clara University, has been in workshop for the past three months and has been working with actors and artists locally to prepare for the Brava world premiere.

The full length piece depicts a community's debate to protect the right to freedom of speech. The story begins when a female writer is eventually detained, by her local government. She encounters two government clerks sent to document her, and a ‘human rights vs. government needs' discussion develops. Other issues arise between the clerks, including the idea of "what is the definition of government treason"?

Over the Mountain surpasses ideas of philosophy or political discussion. At its essence, it is about family - those created by birth and those developed by choice. It shows the human spirit at its worst and best. It also shows how the family we are born into can shape us, but may not completely define who we become in our communities. This piece asks questions in hopes of giving an audience a chance to evaluate its own contemporary caste systems, economic values and artistic worth within its society.

Over the Mountain explores the decisions, emotions and actions one chooses during times of war - from the innocuous to the treasonous. As some characters display optimism, others see only moral bankruptcy. But, the production holds dear one tenet: that through all of the insanity brought about during a time of war, it is imperative for artists to continue to create - even at a cost, and that their work is a crucial part of every community's political, intellectual and social growth.

Over the Mountain utilizes the talents of an all Bay Area artists for this world premiere production including the music of Meklit Hadero former director of the Red Poppy Art House and the band leader of Nefasha Ayer. Brava's Artistic Director Raelle Myrick Hodges will direct Over the Mountain with the play's playwright Brian Thorstenson in residence.

The production opens April 16 (previewing on April 15) and runs until April 25th at Brava Theater in San Francisco's Mission District.

Brian Thorstenson is a recognized SF playwright/activist who has written Shadow Crossing (Central Works), Drop (Alternative Theater), Sudden Tuesday (Stephen Pelton Dance Theater), and Summerland (Wings Theater, NY). He is an associate artist at the
Z-Space and an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University and Santa Clara University. Brian has also been the recipient of several awards and has been nominated for a Bay Area Critic's Circle Award. Readings and Workshops include:

Over the Mountain at The Global Age Project (Aurora Theatre),Waiting for the Green Flash at Playwrights Foundation (staged reading), Over the Mountain at Encore & Z Space Studio (workshop), Bay Area Playwrights Festival (staged reading), Half-Light Dances at Playbrokers, ODC Theater (staged reading), Summerland at 13th Street Repertory, New York City . Currently, Brian is a resident playwright at Playwrights Foundation.

Meklit Hadero is a singer, musician, arts organizer, Resident Artist and former Director at the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Born in Ethiopia, Meklit has since lived in twelve cities, on three continents, and brings her international, inter-cultural experience to all her creative work.

In late December, 2007, Meklit released a limited edition pressing of her first recording titled "Eight Songs." Each individual album is a unique piece of cover artwork, drawing the visual arts and music into a single, cohesive framework.

In April of 2007, a group of musicians - including Meklit, Todd Brown, Prasant Radhakrishnan, Sameer Gupta, Eliyahu Sills, and Gabriel Teodros- on the composition of a body of music titled "Nefasha Ayer: The Space of In-between." Nefasha Ayer, loosely translated from Amharic as "the wind that travels" is an in-progress body of music inspired by traditional Ethiopian melodies/rhythms and American idioms. Meklit has been a Resident Artist at the Red Poppy Art House since June of 2006 and is a commissioned artist for a residency at the DeYoung Museum in 2009.

Meklit has played in many venues, including: the Red Poppy Art House, the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis, the Brava Theater, the Mission Arts and Performance Project (MAPP), La Pena Cultural Center, the Bumbershoot Music Festival, the De Young Museum, the Cowell Theater, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, the Performing Arts Center of the University of the West Indies (Barbados), Revolution, Baobob, Madrone, Yerba Buena's Bay Area Now, and Amnesia. She has been profiled twice by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Meklit, "...sings of fragility, hope and self-empowerment, and exudes all three. What's irresistible, above all, is her cradling, sensuous, gentle sound. She is stunning." -SF Chronicle

Prices: $20-$40

Where: Brava Theater
2781 24th Street @ York
San Francisco, CA 94110

Box Office: 415-647-2822 Box Office open in person M-F 2pm-5pm

Website: or email

Tickets available in person, online or via telephone.


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